Summer is officially over. Although the temperatures don’t yet reflect the change, we all know that cooler weather will happen. As we approach fall and then winter, we make changes as well. We prepare our homes, our wardrobes, and our activities for the upcoming change in weather.
Do you prepare your business for change as well? Preparing for seasonal change is somewhat easy: we know when that will happen – either by the calendar or weather forecast or a combination. We have warning systems in place to alert us to change that could threaten us; our calendars alert us to the official change of seasons; the weather forecast helps us to plan our wardrobes and activities.
But what helps you plan for business changes? Change is inevitable—some changes can be anticipated, and some changes are unexpected.
Do you prepare for both? As a business leader, you should have a strategic plan in place for both eventualities.
Being strategic means thinking intentionally and deliberately about your organization. That includes considering the impacts of any type of change. Using the strategic thinking process as a proactive way to look at business can minimize downtime and long-term monetary impacts from unexpected changes as well as being prepared for known changes.
However, you are not the only one that needs to know the plan! It’s important to make sure your staff is also prepared for changes. Human beings have the tendency to ‘fill in the blanks’ (often with erroneous assumptions) when we don’t understand the direction to which the leader is leading. Proactive staff preparation includes communicating the plan, including the mission and vision of the leadership team.
Executive leadership must ensure staff and stakeholders who perform or are affected by a particular function are involved in identifying necessary questions to be asked and contingencies that must be addressed. As much as ‘C-Levels’ may like to think they know everything about their organizational processes, many strategic plans fail because the right people–those who know the right questions to ask in the first place–are not participants at the planning table.
Without proper strategy, revenue also can be negatively impacted by change. Most organizations can’t afford to stop daily operations while the leadership team identifies a problem and its resolution. Regardless of how temporary the work stoppage might be, it is never a good thing when cash flow is negatively impacted by change. Proactive and strategic thinking requires us to ask questions in advance about what may impact operations.
Change will happen—how that change affects you and your business is within your control. Thinking strategically helps you proactively, intentionally, and deliberately consider that impact and how to minimize or eliminate any adverse effects.
Make sure you are prepared by scheduling a time to meet with one of our consultants. Our comprehensive business CT scan will start you on the track of being strategic and being prepared.